Turmeric taste like curry? I can’t even explain it! Turmeric is a tropical plant of the onion family, Saturepiaceae, with a wide variety of beneficial health qualities. The widely known curcumin in turmeric (also called curcuminoids) is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, but not only that. In fact, it is said to also have many other wonderful health benefits for humans.
So what does turmeric taste like, and what does it do? To answer my own question: it’s very spicy! You can hardly take your lips off of it. But, did you know that some other herbs go a long way beyond spice in the body? Some of them even improve memory and mood.
If you want to perk up any dish quickly, stir in some yellow-orange (more palatable and interesting-looking, actually) turmeric powder right at the beginning. Turmeric tastes great as it goes down, so adding it right at the beginning makes your dish taste even better. It gives the flavor of curry without the extra spice. And, by the way, it has a somewhat strange antiseptic effect on the stomach.
For the best flavor, adding turmeric to a dish completely steams the ingredients. In fact, this is a good practice to follow with any type of sour food, to help it preserve its more flavorful taste. For example, instead of using lime or lemon juice to sweeten your papaya salad, try a combination of honey, lime juice, and turmeric powder. This adds a lot of brightness and taste to the fruit, which can be quite difficult to get out of a mango or papaya. In fact, for dessert, adding honey and turmeric powder to a yogurt and milk mixture makes it a delectable sweet treat.
Turmeric does have some bitter flavors as well. But, because it has a very strong aroma, these aren’t noticeable when the powder tastes. The same is true for cardamom, cumin, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, and many other spices with roots. Turmeric, in particular, has a lovely berry taste when it’s freshly ground and crushed. The bitter taste comes from the roots.
The truth is there are many spices like ginger, mustard seeds, cumin, mustard, and turmeric that have very strong tastes, but their flavor is milded or masked by the other ingredients used in a curry powder. So, for instance, instead of being sour, like cumin, mustard seeds, or coriander seeds, these spices will taste more like a tangy curry powder. For others, like ginger, it still has a bit of a hint of bitterness. This is done by using yogurt and milk in the preparation.
There are many other uses for turmeric, too. As an antioxidant, it has excellent anti-inflammatory qualities, so it is beneficial for those who have trouble with inflammation and healing. This is why it is often added to tea infusions. Using it as a digestive aid relieves gas, indigestion, and heartburn, while preventing constipation. It can also be taken to help with cardiovascular problems, such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Its anti-inflammatory properties may be responsible for the bitter taste in some people, but scientific research has not proven this one way or the other.
Turmeric, which comes from the ground root of the turmeric plant, is rich in many important nutrients. Not only does it provide a delicious spicy flavor, but it is also full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. As it matures, it releases the color pigment called beta-carotene, which is related to the color of carrots and cantaloupe. These reasons make it a popular addition to a wide variety of dishes. While it is not bitter, if you add it to soups or stews, you may be able to take it one step further and get a truly earthy flavor that is quite unusual, and very good for your health, too.